How to Improve Workplace Safety with IoT

Holly Shaw -
Workplace Safety, IoT
Illustration: © IoT For All

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a network of physical objects that are embedded with sensors and other technologies to share data with other devices over the Internet. Evolution took place due to the convergence of multiple technologies, machine learning, embedded systems, commodity sensors, and real-time analytics. Traditional wireless sensor networks, control systems, and others enable the Internet of Things.

The most crucial thing in any company is making sure that the working environment is safe and secure. The invention of the Internet of Things has brought about workplace safety to another new level. Its application can also substitute as an accident prevention program that can be unified into a companys’ safety system and help progress workplace safety.

IoT technology is most synonymous with goods relevant to the idea of a smart home on the consumer market. This involves appliances and equipment such as surveillance systems, cameras, lighting fixtures, and other home appliances that can be operated by ecosystem-related devices and serve one or more common ecosystems. This article will discuss how to improve workplace safety using IoT.

IoT in Workplace Safety

IoT in a working environment is one of the most advanced ways to increase safety that a company could implement. It has managed to help companies worldwide by improving working conditions, data collection, streamlining operations, and increasing productivity.

IoT devices do not entirely protect workers in risky industries. Instead, they help managers address large numbers of threats that can be prevented. IoT technology allows organizations to monitor environmental conditions, physical health of employees and can help limit employees’ risks and exposure to prevent accidents from happening. 

Let’s take a look at ways in which IoT enhances safety at any workplace.

Monitoring Possible Risks

One of the features that IoT software has is predictive maintenance, which is used to monitor workplace equipment. It gives room for one to notice any structural failures in any connected device before any ill-fated accident occurs.

The great thing about predictive maintenance is that it allows organizations to take proactive action based on data patterns. Predictive maintenance makes use of machine learning algorithms to help predict potential issues before these can impact employees. 

Instead of relying on decentralized and manual analysis of data and reports, IoT technology and data analytics can help make data monitoring and analysis more centralized and comprehensive. 

With a more efficient system in place, organizations have access to information that will help them monitor and prevent risks to the company whether these are possible accidents, injuries, losses and damages or other safety issues. 

Improving Safety

The introduction of training programs for employees would be an added advantage. It would enable identifying any potential threats to their safety. Therefore, it allows the implementation of IoT, which would monitor and maintain records and a safe working environment.

IoT technology also ensures long-term workplace safety by analyzing data and using it to develop occupational health and safety strategies for employees. An example would be when IoT tools are integrated with HR and workforce solutions to develop factory workers’ schedules that would minimize exposure levels or ensure that the workers accurately spread out for 24-hour shifts. 

Increase Understanding of Working Environments With The Help of Connected Sensors

If employees are familiar with their working environment, the possibility of accidents happening reduces. Putting into place IoT devices with environmental sensors to identify any potential threat is a necessity that should not be ignored. However, it might not be enough, which brings in the use of connected sensors to identify possible risks that can be handled on time.

Enhanced IoT monitoring equipment in the workplace can help assure employees that they are working in a safe environment. In the case of an emergency, all these connected devices will work as they should to ensure that employee safety is prioritized. 

Keeping Track of Employees’ Physical State

Up to date inspection of company properties and the physical state of an employee can improve workplace safety, made possible by health monitoring technology, mostly through wearable devices. For instance, a company would give watches connected to an IoT server to be worn by employees providing data that helps them make safe decisions.

IoT solutions can also be used to monitor systems that are likely to fail; thus, management uses the information to make predictions that may help curb risks and find solutions before anything happens.

Wearable technology is one of the most significant innovations when it comes to IoT solutions in the workplace. Examples of wearable technology are mobile and smart devices that provide data sharing and information management features. These are modern ways of how organizations can monitor the safety and well-being of employees in the workplace. 

Employees’ wearable technology can help improve workplace health and safety. These can help increase operational movements’ visibility, streamline processes to be more safe and efficient, and implement on-site corrective actions. 

Not only will organizations improve efficiencies in their operations with the use of IoT tools, but they can also make employees feel safe, which can be excellent motivation and lead to increased productivity. 

IoT solutions can also be used to monitor systems that are likely to fail; thus, management uses the information to make predictions that may help curb risks and find solutions before anything happens.

Speed Up and Progress the Effectiveness of Rescue Operations

In an unfortunate event of an accident, the rescue operations can be quickly initiated with the help of IoT devices. 

For example, IoT devices that come with geolocation capabilities can provide an employee’s exact location which is critical in rescue operations. There are devices that will allow you to collect important information in real time so that rescue teams can quickly assess the situation and come up with an efficient rescue plan. 

Prevent Fire Accidents

Workplace fires are widespread, and despite them being accidental, they can be prevented if identified as early as possible. Fire safety sensors that can identify temperature rise, which could indicate when a fire is most likely to spread, can be enhanced.

An IoT software enhances the uncovering of the rise in temperatures which is very important in detecting the nature of a possible fire.

With the help of IoT software or devices that have fire safety sensors, organizations can detect increased temperatures that could indicate a possible fire in the work site. This early detection can make a huge difference in the timely evacuation of workers and implementation of the critical preventive actions.

Author
Holly Shaw, Engage EHS

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Guest writers are IoT experts and enthusiasts interested in sharing their insights with the IoT industry through IoT For All. If you're interested in contributing to IoT For All, cli...
Guest writers are IoT experts and enthusiasts interested in sharing their insights with the IoT industry through IoT For All. If you're interested in contributing to IoT For All, cli...